I'm quite surprised that I've held to that so seriously. It's all well attaching pictures and diagrams to thoughts; but I remember attaching characteristics and feelings to each fragrance, and for a long time, I've tended to make a conscious choice where I can of which scent to use each day either based on how I'm feeling, or, as often is appropriate, how I'd like to feel. Consequently, the two most frequently used are Africa and Phoenix: the former for it's sweet, romantic smell and association with being quite soft and mellow; the latter for it's rich and sharp tint, association with blue, and rising up where I'd like to be from a state below. Of course, there are plenty others which often suit a particular day or time perfectly, but this are the main players. It's all very strange, but that's me in one. There are considerably noticeable connotations behind it. Before I came home last (end of May), I was beginning to run shy of deodorant in Bristol, or, should I say, shy of choice. All I was left with were really old bottles of Gravity which I use as infrequently as I can. That said, May happened to be the single, secular month where Gravity could not have been more appropriate. It was with pleasure that, around other special happenings, I could take back with me some Africa to mark the start of a mellow recovery. I have ignored one fragrance that I've used but never thought about ~ but I'm sure there will be a future time for Touch. I haven't yet tried Unlimited; want to leave it a total mystery so I can build a sense for what a want this scent to mean. I've taken inspiration from a lot of sources, and so I open my mind once again.
It's been a near final goodbye to Wills Hall after 2 long and delightful years. I associate the place with a mixture of good and painful times, but altogether, it's been amazing, and so happy that I was meant to stay another year. It was hard seeing Wills empty yet again: it seems I'm always the one who sees that happen. I go through almost all the goodbye ceremonies without just a single one of my own. It's a different feeling to last summer by far: I knew I'd have the chance to come home, that I'd be returning to live with close friends, I knew it wasn't going to be the long weeks of loneliness at Wills alone that last year's teaching placement brought. Even though hard work remained, it has been lovely to feel the summer calling, to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and to have a refreshing break from a short, but battering term (including Pentad). The Ball was amazing: and although a tad disappointed, I can't help but be massively proud that even with another popular brewery on-site, the bar still made a huge increase on last year's take. The last week has been, surprisingly, harder work than most, but the most rewarding since Freshers' Week ~ it's been superb to go out on a high.
All good mood in the final week of term by various work issues. A rare bar meeting was called, and some changes implemented which will give the next manager much more flexibility to make decisions when required and not waiting for committee approval: liberty I'm a little jealous of, but it's acknowledged I didn't have it, and in place now. More importantly from my side, the bar has taken significantly more this summer term than the summer term last year, which might suggest that we could break even for this academic year, which I'd see as an amazing achievement. It's great to feel like all the hard work has finally paid off, and somewhat successful. My final hospital shift was also wonderful: I got to work with a girl on some GCSE English coursework (Dickens). By the end, she knew how to identify setting, character, mood, voice and tone: smashing. The staff presented me with a a beautiful book of the History of Bristol as a send off. I know that Friday mornings became the wrong time, and the responsibility they gave me started making me far more nervous about turning up, but, wow - I loved the job and the people, and have offered to pop back and help out next year independent of the University's scheme. With the bar, I never cared about the money; it only makes you feel pressure to achieve, but it's more about approaching with the right mindset.
Here comes the stage which would need the tightest editing: I began writing this on Thursday, not long after Andy Murray's incredible victory over 14th seed Radek Stepanek. Although I'd watched the BBC site's coverage of the tournament at Nottingham, when A.M. wiped clean highly-ranked Taylor Dent and pushed Thomas Johansson to the limit (the Swede going on to dispose of Tim Henman with composite ease in the following round), it was the great announcement - especially with Henman's exit and the focus entirely on this highly-rated lad. And there was the emergence of Britain's new hero, and unlike Wayne Rooney, I'm really enthused about this guy and his whole approach. Felt sorry for Henman in a way - the pressure is rather shocking, and it's not his fault he's carried the hopes of the nation for these past years, but I've always been bored of the British summer fortnight's Henmania, and I've always assumed some kind of elitist strain. It brings me back to Jonathan Ross' random outburst on They Think It's All Over a few years ago: 'what we need is a working class bullet with fire in his belly'. Perhaps that is what's found here. I did enjoy a clever article written by John Dillon in the Daily Express, which pointed out how it was no surprise that Judy Murray, Andy's mother, and an ex-coach, sent him to develop abroad at the academy in Barcelona. In face of the LTA crooning over Murray's performances that they have next to no involvement with, the article decently avoids talking about the LTA's bizarre decision in turning down the help of John McEnroe to look over the academy, but does discuss the recent LTA track record: punishing and bullying any decent talent (Alex Bogdanovic) out of funding, and, on that subject, asks the fundamental question of where the investment has gone -
With over £25m every year from Wimbledon profits alone, there's also the £87m from Sport England just for facilities since 1994. £30m has gone into finding new British tennis talent, and while, as Dillon points out, the LTA can pull out all statistics to show how more young people are playing and that the money has served good purposes, the two negatives are damning: that from the cost of Murray's training (approximately £90k over three years), a minimal amount looking at the scale of the project, that leaves £29.91m without any other real result; and that an ex-coach of the LTA, and no doubt aware of the limitations of the British tennis organisation, wherever they fall, has had to sent her son abroad to get the right coaching and facilties. Although I'm quite a fan, tennis is not my first sport of choice by any means. I just find it great when such a great player and a real, genuine competetor emerges and brings some pride to ailing Britain. Even though I now update this following defeat to Nalbandian, he's the future of British tennis, and the sky is the limit. It's potential that fuels my thoughts at the moment. Potential is such a wonderful thought ~ what is not seen, but supposed/assumed to exist: a future something that is better (or otherwise, but better is nice) than the present. These rule many of life's main principles: energy, the economy... and mine: The Circle of Need is all potential, where Asset Love is actual. It's rather intimidating at a very thought: if potential is the capacity for any possible change or happening, and as the last few years, months, weeks and days have shown me, just about anything feels possible ~ it displays a magnitude that somehow, you've put yourself in a position for this all to happen; and that's why there's never any regret of the past.
And, like last summer, although stronger, I do feel intimidated by everything going on. I can't deny a trace of homesickness towards the end of the academic year - just wanting to crawl back to where there's little to worry about and let everything slowly catch up. And yet, the week of rest at home has been alarmingly busy, and is almost over, and soon I'm head off for a busy summer down in Bristol, where I should expect to be 'challenged to the limit' by the summer school work, and no doubt 'challenged' in each and every way by an involvement with the bar that doesn't seem to want to end. Can't seem to keep track of the basics any more, and just don't want to burn out. At the same time, why can't I take so many positives from all this? I somehow passed interviews for a small number of places for this summer school work, and from hoping to work one, I'm ending up working three; am still managing a bar, which is giving me accommodation when needed it; moving into a house with new and great friends down in Bristol; and as much as anything, I'm continuing to be industrious - keep looking for the right work and finding it, earning plenty and giving myself all kinds of freedom that I could never have expected in years gone by. And then there's the social picture: have been nervous about the R.P.G. for a long time ~ whatever anyone might think about my inner relationship with the group, even though it's not openly displayed in time online, it's still as active and potent as ever it was - it makes me shiver to think of the August filming, just through the awesome power of the event and its people. It might be assumed that I don't care anymore, but for that, I shouldn't have to think about friends at Wills to testify that they see part of what I feel in private which friends are suffering. I am adamant that I must not and never lose my main friendship pot, even though it feels other factions are growing fast and strong all around. I need to, and want to believe that the emotional & friendship capacity can be infinite. The sky is the limit, blue & gold, and with friends like aristophains (amongst several precious others), I know where this Unlimited aura can come from.